Trolls, rejoice! Judge rules President Trump can't block people on Twitter anymore
'[N]o government official — including the President — is above the law, said U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.
Blocked by President Donald Trump on Twitter? Your nightmare will good be over, because a judge ruled that Trump and his aides cannot block naysayers on the social media site.
The reason: People have a right under the First Amendment to get information — and express opinions — to elected officials on Twitter, just like they do in print and in public. Twitter is also the main way the president relays his decisions and feelings on topics, so Americans should be able to see the messages.
"[N]o government official — including the President — is above the law," U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her opinion, "and all government officials are presumed to follow the law as has been declared."
Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed the lawsuit last summer against Trump, former communications director Hope Hicks, chief press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House social media director Daniel Scavino. Buchwald later dismissed the suits against Sanders and Hicks.
Some of the people blocked by Trump were also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The tweets that got them blocked ranged from jokes about his Covfefe tweet to a video of Pope Francis giving him some wicked side eye.
Covfefe: The same guy who doesn't proofread his Twitter handles the nuclear button.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 18, 2017
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"We're pleased with the court's decision, which reflects a careful application of core First Amendment principles to government censorship on a new communications platform," Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of Knight First Amendment Institute, said Wednesday. "The president's practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional."
Buchwald added that she expects Scavino to unblock Twitter users and refrain from blocking in the future. There is one win for Trump, though: He can "mute" Twitter users so their tweets won’t show up in his timeline, but they’ll still be able to see his.